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  • Science writing at its best ... fascinating and beautiful ... if only chemistry had been like this at school ... to meander through the periodic table with him ... is like going round a zoo with Gerald Durrell ... a rich compilation of delicious tales, but it offers greater rewards, too

    Matt Ridley
  • Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in ­surprise

    Sunday Times
  • Splendid ... enjoyable and polished

  • Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ... an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and information

    Sunday Telegraph
  • Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ... sharp and often witty

    Financial Times
  • A joyous romp through the chemical elements

    Today, BBC Radio 4
  • Not only a cultural history of the elements, it is also a lament to the loss of science as a hobby

  • A flashily brainy book, crammed with literary references and held together by a personal quest to collect as many elements as possible

  • 'Elements are fun' is the essential premise of Hugh Aldersey-Williams's new book and by heck he's right ... Aldersey-Williams mourns the fact chemistry isn't really sexy any more; Periodic Tales is a step towards it getting its mojo back

    Metro ****
  • Imaginative and fun ... almost every page yields a nugget


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